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5,000 free meals to be given to locals: Here’s how you can get one

Each meal has an individual message of encouragement for locals . Mercado tells us, “It’s for anybody who needs it, who wants it... It's for everyone!"


They say there’s not much a home cooked meal can’t fix. That’s exactly the message our friends at The Camp are trying to send to those who are struggling due to COVID-19. 

We spoke to Ruth Mercado, Head Chef at The Camp. She says, “Just being a part of a community and making sure you’re supporting that-- it’s probably the most important thing…To stay connected.”

The Camp at MidCity has an ambitious goal: to serve over 5,000 meals to the Huntsville Community. Head Chef, Ruth Mercado, says it’s no small task. 

But, it’s getting done with the donations of places like Muscle Shoals Music Association and Forest Wood Farms, and Merchants Grocery. Mercado says, “It makes you take some comfort in that we really are, indeed, in this together.” 

Hands from all over the valley are pitching in to help. 

Adam Willis, an employee at The Camp, assisted in packaging the meals. He says, “A lot of people are out of work, so it’s giving us something to do here at The Camp. But also, when you do good things for other people, it brings people together.” 

Marvin Holifield, a chef at The Camp told us while cooking meals, “You know, we know people are going through different things and different situations and we just want to make sure we can hold them down, help them in any way we can.”

We're told the meals have a little something for everybody. Mercado says, “We also made a ton of different casseroles, a bunch of savory ones. I made a chili this morning. Even really just a hodgepodge of things that we have ingredients for. Right now I have a pot of Korean noodles, so that’s going in there!” 

Each package of meals has four servings and they’re decorated with individual messages of encouragement for locals . Mercado tells us, “It’s for anybody who needs it, who wants it. It’s for everybody!"

Organizers realize some may be nervous about coming to pick up the meals. So, they’re taking extra precautions to make sure everyone stays safe. Mercado says, “We’ll ask you to pop your trunk, open your backseat-- we’ll put a bag in there. If you’re coming by foot, there’s a tray for you to grab. It’s really a quick and go. So there’s no fear.” 

The meals can be picked up at any one of six distribution locations. 

With so many businesses closed and locals out of work, the Camp Staff and volunteers want people to know that this is the time to pull together as a community. 

Marvin Holifield says, “Come out with an open mind. I know a lot of things are going on. But, we’re here with love and support and if there’s anything we can do, come on!” 

What: 5,000 prepared meals by The Camp for the Huntsville Community

Who: YOU! Anyone is welcome to come pick up a meal!

When: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 5:00-7:00 PM

Here are all the places you can go to to grab one of these meals:

  • The Camp at MidCity District - 5909 University Drive NW
  • Woody Anderson Ford - 2500 Jordan Lane NW
  • Huntsville Country Club - 2601 Oakwood Avenue NW
  • Venue Group Office, Washington Park Downtown - 120 Holmes Ave NW
  • Schoel Engineering - 7500 Memorial Pkwy SW #209
  • St. Bartley Primitive Baptist Church - 3020 Belafonte Ave NW

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